The time is right to recognise Palestine

Text of letter published in The Times, January 20th 2020

THE TIME IS RIGHT TO RECOGNISE PALESTINE
Sir, Today Britain attends her last EU foreign affairs council. On the agenda is the Middle East peace process, which must address recognition of the state of Palestine, alongside Israel. The UK retains historical responsibilities regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seen also in this week’s unprecedented visit to both Israel and the Palestinian territories by the Prince of Wales. In 2011 the foreign secretary, William Hague, reserved the right to recognise the state of Palestine “at a time of our choosing, when it can best serve the cause of peace”. That time is now.

Since 2014 no progress has been made on meaningful peace negotiations. Israel’s actions are pushing a two-state solution beyond reach. Israel’s prime minister and opposition leader have vowed to annex the occupied Jordan Valley. Illegal Israeli settlements, described by the Foreign Office as undermining peace efforts, are expanding. British recognition of Palestine is overdue. Such an act would help fulfil her promise of equal rights  in two states. Britain has an important role on the international stage. Where she leads, others will follow.

Seema Malhotra, MP; Crispin Blunt, MP; Emily Thornberry, MP;Dr Philippa Whitford, MP; Alistair Carmichael, MP; David Jones,MP; Fabian Hamilton, MP; Andy Slaughter, MP; Joanna Cherry,QC, MP; Layla Moran, MP; Stephen Kinnock, MP; Tommy Sheppard,MP; Leila Sansour (Open Bethlehem); Lord Cope of Berkeley; Lord Peter Hain; Sir Nicholas Soames; Richard Burden (former chairman, Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group); Tom Brake; Sir Vincent Fean (chairman, Balfour Project); Andrew Whitley (former director, UNRWA); Chris Doyle (director, Council for Arab-British Understanding); Hugh Lovatt (ECFR); Sara Apps (Open Bethlehem)

Text of letter to the Times 20th January 2020. To read in the Times you need to log in to their online version as it is not the first letter.

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